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Bryant (2012) Article in Bee Culture Mag

Searching for the Truth in Labeling Honey

Check out these informative articles from  Bee Culture magazine that feature Vaughn M. Bryant, PhD, who you may recall tested my honey for pollen counts. You can view the articles by clicking the following links:

Meet Vaughn Bryant, Honey Sleuth

Truth in Labeling: Why We Need It

The Pollen Report

Gold Standard Honey will have available this year 4 single origin sourced honeys.  In addition to the Oklahoma Native Mixed Floral Honey we will have Texas Tallow, Wisconsin Mixed Floral Honey and North Dakota Canola. All 4 have their distinctive flavors and regional pollens.
Also, I found the leading melissopalyntologist (someone who studies pollen in honey) Dr. Vaughn Bryant of Texas A&M University to do the analysis of the 4 honeys. I was very excited to find that Oklahoma Native 2013 honey had a high percentage of Willow pollens, from what I understand this is a major tree pollen offender to many people in our part of Oklahoma.  The Oklahoma Native Mixed Floral Honey also, and hold on to your hat, has  10.4% poison ivy and sumac pollens.  Dr. Bryant has stated to me that he has eaten 100% poison ivy honey.  This honey will actually build up your resistance to the irritant effects of poison ivy just as local pollen build up ones allergy resistance.  I also need to add here that we pull our honey from Oklahoma in July, long before the ragweed is in bloom in Oklahoma. So the Oklahoma Native Mixed Floral Honey has no ragweed pollens; however, Gold Standard Honey Wisconsin Mixed Floral Honey does  have ragweed pollen as you will observe in the following table I summarized from Dr. Bryant’s report (view here). 
If you suffer from ragweed allergies I would say taking about a tablespoon a day, as commonly recommended, to help build up your immunity for the coming fall season in a few months. Also, I need to point out that the Wisconsin Mixed Floral Honey has the noted Basswood pollens from the Basswood tree which is indigenous to the northern United States.  The Basswood flavor is something we southerners rarely have the opportunity to taste.
I hope to have all 4 single sourced honeys in many Reasor’s stores in about a month.  FYI I will be at the Bixby Reasor’s store this Saturday, April 26th, from 1-5 with samples from all 4 sources. Because we need to use migratory beekeeping methods to bring these unique honeys to you, there are Tallow pollens found in all 4 honeys.  This is due to the residual Tallow left in the boxes as they are transported from region to region. 
I am most happy to bring these 4 distinctive honeys to the good people of the Tulsa area, deciding your favorite, for taste or health, is part of the fun. Enjoy.

Season of Changes

Saturday the 5th of April will be our opening day of Cherry Street Farmer’s Market for the summer season.  It will continue thereafter every Saturday till sometime in late October. Location: 15th and Peoria, Time: 7:00 AM-11:00 AM. Every season brings promise and I suppose farmers have to be optimistic, as most business people.  I was raised on a farm in western Oklahoma and my dad would constantly be worrying (and complaining) about the weather, machinery, debt and too much “giverment” as he called it, but we always kept on plugging away.  Every year we would put in a new crop no matter what.  I see that with many of the farmers at Cherry St, no matter what’s happened or happening you just keep you head down and keep working.    
It looks like, and I emphasize looks like, maybe this year, being 2 years out from the dreadful summer of 2012, that the annuals and bi-annuals will hit this year and we should have a decent crop of honey. Anything can happen of course, but, yes, I have to be optimistic. 
This year also will hold the possibility of introducing 3 new products from Gold Standard Honey.  The launch will be sometime over the next 2 months or so.  Hate to say what they are yet till I get closer to finalization.  I have been more involved and been more work than I realized at first, but I believe the wait will be worth it.  
I can’t tell you the scores of people who re-purchase my honey and say it has helped with their allergies.  Some people have it bad.  One lady comes by my house and buys it like medicine.  She said by the time the conventional medicine wound down and the natural remedy started to help took 6 months.  She said it was worth the wait.  I’ve been reading a lot about it lately and honey is considered a “super-food”, like yogurt.  Honey has enzymes, which are used to unlock many chemical reactions in our bodies which are essential for life.  Also, raw honey has amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.  And I have recently learned that the pollen in honey has protein in it as well.  That’s really something you don’t think about, normally you think just carbs in honey.  
I’m going to have taste demos, (something the industry calls showcase events) at The Fresh Market 81st and Yale and Natural Grocers on 71st sometime in April.  I’ll keep you posted.
I also need to mention that I talked to a gentleman named JD Hill who owns Hilltop Honey.  It is local as well and a fine product.  So, if you can’t find mine in the store, look for his, another great local, raw honey.  All the best to him and his family.
I had a great old preacher say to us many times,  “If you paint with black paint you’ll probably get some on you too”.
See you at the market,
George Brining